|I sing the birth was born tonight,|
The Author both of life and light…
For as long as I can remember, every Christmas Eve I go outside for awhile and look up into the night sky. Some years, the snow is coming down so fast all I can see is a rush of white. Other years, it's sleet, which stings my face and eyes. A few times it's been rain—light sprinkles or a hard downpour, and I'm soaked in moments with cold water running into the neck of my shirt.
Yet more often than not, when I look up late on this twenty-fourth of December, I see stars—maybe just a few, the brightest ones if the night is hazy, or ones that appear, disappear, reappear if there are clouds and a light wind. But sometimes, like tonight, the sky is clear and filled with their gleaming points of light, like a king's ransom in diamonds strewn across the velvet-blue heavens.
It is so beautiful and I am so moved that my heart overflows. If you asked me what I'm looking for up there in the cold night sky, I would tell you I'm looking for Christmas. And I'll tell you true…no matter whether it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or clear, regardless of whether the wind is blowing or calm, or the temperature sub-zero or shirt-sleeve warm, I always find what I'm after. Because some two-thousand years ago, in a place far away, a baby was born in the night—born in love, given to die that I might have grace; a baby whose life would change the world forever.
Christmas is not just a holiday or a date on the calendar; it's certainly not simply a mood, and it's more than a spirit. Christmas is a gift, the greatest of all gifts. The older I get, the more I appreciate that fundamental truth.
To each of you, I wish you the best and merriest of Christmases ever! I hope your day is filled with love and joy and laughter, and your heart be given peace.